Jason L's Weekly Progress Update

Nice! This is what led to my Sketchbook: coming up with fun mechanics to code which wouldn’t necessarily enhance story or gameplay.

Awesome! Sometimes working hard on one project, you say–wish I was also X, Y or Z…and it turns into something.

Also, yay random bugs popping up! Someone found an interesting case that’s probably a one line fix. It’s cool to know people we don’t know about are using Trizbort.

Been two weeks in-between updates. I wish I could say it was because I was so busy working on Trizbort or coding a new game or something, but alas, it’s not that…just busy with work and kids activities.

Anyway, I’ll keep this brief as I want to use some of my small amount of free time actually working on projects. Trizbort, I’ve done a few small things, nothing major, but getting close to enough for a new release.

The IF project I mentioned the last update, I bailed on and threw out. Not because it was bad necessarily, but despite my initial excitement on it, I became quickly bored with it. Instead I’ve begun work on a game I put on the shelf about a year ago. It’s something based on a story from buddy of mine (an unpublished author and a fellow IF enthusiast from the 80s) who bought and restored an 1850s farmhouse that really has quite a history. He wants to write a set of young teen / young adult stories based around the history and had asked me to write some IF on it as well. I had gotten as far as creating the map last year before we both found other things to keep us busy on. Well coincidentally enough, he picked up his side of the project again and wanted to see if I would continue on. So I’ve been busily working on finishing the map, getting some base descriptions in place and building a story around it. He and I are going to try to meet bi-weekly at least to work on finishing this (and a few other projects the two of us are working on).

Anyway, that’s been my life whether you wanted to know about it or not! :grinning:

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The cooperative project seems awesome. Definitely keep us posted!

Also congrats on getting 11 stars now for the trizbort repository.

So here we are a week or so since my last update (though it wouldn’t be hard to keep up through other posts on this site).

So here are a list of my accomplishments this week:

  • More work on my new collaborative WIP, still fleshing out descriptions and the map in general. Slow progress, but progress nonetheless.
  • Released new version of Trizbort. Didn’t really announce this one too much (other than on here), more out of laziness than anything else, but there are some cool new features and fixes.
  • Working on new release of Trizbort. Thanks to @AndrewS on his much needed testing, he’s uncovered some bugs, some of which have been there for some time and we’ve come up with some new items as well. Hopefully working towards another release soon.

Felt good to have a good week on some of my personal projects for a change…been hard to get time in lately so this has been refreshing.

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So following in @AndrewS footsteps, I thought I’d resurrect my weekly progress thread, if for no other reason than to encourage me to do something each week so I can have something to talk about.

This week:

  • Fixed a bug that was reported in the latest version of Trizbort. Seems the room properties window was always opening in the top left of the screen. That was kind of embarrassing…not completely sure how I managed to make that happen, but it was an easy fix.
  • prepping for the next minor release of Trizbort, which I hope to release in the next week or so.
  • Worked on the WIP a little, not as much as I wanted though. This is the one from my other recent thread
  • Managed to get some work on a few Unity items (ok, not necessarily IF related, but still I’m happy I’ve made a little progress there.

Big news, is I’ve started working on Trizbort2. This is the complete rewrite of Trizbort. My plans are to keep all the functionality of the current Trizbort, but improve the code-base so some other requested features can be more easily added. Genstein did a great job on the original and there will be much that will come over verbatim, but there are some general structural changes that are needed to make it more expandable and maintained. Once that is done, I’ve got a list of needed features and enhancements that will hopefully make it into this new version.

I’m still pulling my notes and thoughts together and am putting together a Trello board to track the progress. I’m just beginning so it may be sometime before I get even a rough alpha version, but I plan on announcing that here first if anyone is interested in trying it out when it’s ready.

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Whoa, Trizbort2. Exciting news! Best of luck with that, and congratulations on all of the other progress.

So this week was pretty busy in my real life (started a new job on Monday so all that kept me busy) so not as much accomplished as I had hoped, but a few things.

Biggest accomplishments were organizing some of the Trizbort2 Trello board cards to get myself better organized and made some small progress on Trizbort2. Below is a very early screenshot (like way early concept shot, so it will probably change greatly before all done)… What it does show however, is something I’m kind of excited about and hopefully it will be a helpful feature:

You can now have multiple “projects” open (that’s the set of tabs at the top), each project can have it’s own set of maps (yes one or more)…that’s the bottom tabs. My thought on the this is the project is your high-level, so this could be the “Zork” project, then each map could be perhaps different logical areas, so you could have a separate map for the above ground area and one for the below ground. Proof of concept at the moment, but I’m thinking this could be pretty cool especially with a few of the other ideas I have planned.

Not much to look at yet, but hey I’m making progress.

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Very cool.

Haven’t had much to add to these weekly progress threads, but I’ve been reading with interest.

Very nice. I’ve been hoping that Trizbort2 would have some kind of feature that could be applied to multi-level maps so I’m very pleased to see these tabs which could be used towards this purpose.

It has always really bugged me that there hasn’t been a good mapping program all this time that can elegantly represent the elevator in “Lurking Horror.” I look forward to mapping it with Trizbort2!

Have a long way to go with this, so hopefully it turns out as well as I hope.

If anyone has feature requests, please feel free to post them here and I’ll see what I can do and how it fits with the plans I have.

Awesome! I’ve been glad I can just have something in Trizbort, and just seeing the images has me realizing how I want to reorganize certain maps. If/when this gets done, it might help spur a maintenance release.

Will we be able to have connectors between rooms on different levels of a map project? E.g. in your Zork example, there’d be something down from the living room to the passage, and you could click that link to change levels.

While I’ve not figured out how best to handle that, I did fell that was a pretty important thing to have, so the plan is to have something like that in there.

Not much progress this past week, though I did start working on adding dockable windows in Trizbort2. Will allow for moving multiple maps around as well as dockable property windows and such. That’s something I’ve wanted in Trizbort myself for a long time.

I did do some thinking on the whole Trizbort2 thing though and thought I’d throw a few things out there to see what others thought. Maintaining the existing version and working on version 2 eats up a chunk of time. I’ve thought about setting up a Patreon or at the very list a Paypal link in case any one in the world felt the urge to contribute in that sense. I know I won’t make a living off of it, but would be nice to perhaps even offset some costs of some tools perhaps. Does anyone have any thoughts on that?

Speaking of tools, that brings up another point. There are some tools / controls that I would love to use, but they are commercial components…now I don’t have a problem paying for them, but I’m wondering how I would be able to keep the software open source if a key component of it is not. So I would love to use those tools, but does that mean I need to close source the application (I could still keep it free, just no source provided)…thoughts on that?

And then to my final point…if I would close source it, take donations for development or even perhaps provide a paid professional version or something (no plans for this, just thinking way ahead)…should I change the name from Trizbort to something else? I’ve gotten permission from Genstein to use and promote Trizbort when I first took over maintaining it (@AndrewS and I exchanged emails with him)…and I even purchased the domain which he had no interest in…however, in the spirit of things, I’m questioning whether I should rebrand it and make it truly my own (with version 2 of course)

Anyway, just thinking out loud on this Saturday morning and wondered if anyone had any thoughts.

Personally, I’m more likely to make a one-off donation (not that it’d be a big one) although I have a hunch that a patreon is the better way to go, so optimally, I’d like to see you set up both options.

I know nothing about the licensing stuff although I imagine it comes down to the licensing of each tool used.

If you use a tool that requires Trizbort to change its licensing, I think, yeah, I would vote for changing the name of the project.

Well, financially, Patreon can (sort of) work as a one-off donation, or you can set aside a chunk of money for it.

David Welbourn’s Patreon is based on $1 per walkthrough. Some months he does nothing at all, or even just gives a few walkthroughs that “don’t count,” so you don’t have to donate anything.

So maybe a way to do this would be to have a list of concrete goals and people could donate, say, $1 per goal achieved and reasonably tested. So in this case you could donate until a bunch of features were completed, then un-subscribe if you wanted. The problem is that it must be emotionally painful (even if only a little) to get unsubscribed. And I don’t have an answer to that, sadly.

So I’ve made absolutely zero progress on anything…so this is a non-progress update.

I was thinking about something the other day though and thought I’d throw out an idea for a feature of Trizbort that I would find useful and wanted to see if anyone else would. I was thinking about adding integration with GitHub or Git in general. This would make working with versions of your maps easier. Would this be of benefit to anyone? Does it sound like a feature you would use if it was in there?

I have to admit I don’t know what integration would entail. Does it mean automatic updates? Or would the binary be online? At any rate it’d be nice to be assured that the map version matched okay, although I usually am able to go through and save/update them manually or with a batch file now that we have command line parameters.

I guess how I envisioned it (and I admit I haven’t thought it through completely yet) is that you would be able to commit changes from within Trizbort, browse through changes / old revisions, pulling them down as needed or doing comparisions to current working version, being able to push them to github or bitbucket, things like that. Basically helping with the workflow. Often multiple git command line can be wrapped up under one menu item.

Nothing that you couldn’t necessarily do outside of Trizbort in your normal git command line or client, but like many other development tools that have integrations, it would provide convenience of doing everything within the app itself.

Trizbort files are easy to work with in source control since they are just text and in Trizbort 2 I’m looking at converting the file format to JSON files (with ability to import classic trizbort files)

Again, not thought through completely and simply in the early blue skying phase.

I think it sounds like a neat idea. I’m not sure how much I’d use it for its revision-tracking benefits, but I have a hard time going, “there, I’m done” with my maps and uploading them places so I’d appreciate the convenience of keeping stuff online where others can check them out.